Three Years and Counting

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Hattip to Ann Althouse.  Major Nidal Hasan on November 5, 2009 at Fort Hood murdered 13 of his fellow soldiers and wounded 29 others.  Since that time his trial has been pending.  And pending.  And pending.  The latest development?  The military judge presiding over the case has been removed.  Why?  Because, pursuant to regulations, he ordered that Hasan be forced to shave his beard.

Although the military judge here stated that [Hasan’s] beard was a ‘disruption,’ there was insufficient evidence on this record to demonstrate that [Hasan’s] beard materially interfered with the proceedings,” the unsigned ruling said.
“Taken together…. the decision to remove [Hasan] from the courtroom, the contempt citations and the decision to order [Hasan’s] forcible shaving in the absence of any command action to do the same could leave an objective observer to conclude that the military judge was not impartial.”

At this rate Hasan will die of old age before he ever goes to trial.  This of course is a case with dozens of eye witnesses who saw him do the murders.  It is arrant nonsense like this that causes people to despise lawyers.  It is a shame that the Army has been thoroughly infected with this talent of my profession for examining molehills with a microscope while studiously ignoring mountains.

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  1. What an abject farce this trial has become for justice. Hasan should have been court-martialed and executed within six months. Does having a Muslim for a president have anything to do with this unconscionable miscarriage of justice.

  2. In Scotland, we have a rule, going back to the Wrongeous Imprisonment Act of 1701, that an accused in custody must be served with an indictment, containing a list of witnesses and productions, within 80 days of the accused being charged. This time limit cannot be extended. The diet must call within 110 days of detention and the assize must be sworn within 140 days. This can be extended only by reason of sickness of the accused or a witness.

    These rules work, even in the most complex cases, which this, plainly, is not.

  3. The Fifth Amendment: Habeas Corpus which Obama has obliterated with the National Defense Authorization Act. Each and every law must be applied with equity. Perhaps Hasan ought to be tried under the Articles of War as a traitor.

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